Archive for the ‘News’ Category

PWRDF director to retire in May

Posted on: November 21st, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Adele Finney, who has served as executive director of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund since 2010, will be retiring in May. Photo: Jesse Dymond

After serving at its helm for over six years, the executive director of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) will be retiring next spring, Primate Fred Hiltz announced this week.

“It is with sadness and hope that I am announcing today that PWRDF’s executive director, Adele Finney, will be retiring as of May 31, 2016,” Hiltz said in a prepared statement. “Sadness because we will be losing the wisdom, talent and knowledge that Adele has brought to her position in her six years as executive director. Hope because of the future her leadership has brought us to.”

Finney was first asked by Hiltz to serve as interim executive director of PWRDF in March 2010, before assuming the role permanently in January 2011.

PWRDF has grown significantly under Finney’s leadership, Hiltz said, entering into major agreements with the federal government for maternal, newborn and child health work and seeing its budget expand significantly.

“PWRDF is not the organization it was when I came, and we’re standing breathlessly at the edge of going forward with greater confidence about the program we have achieved and the opportunity to integrate it at every level—internationally and in Canada,” Finney told a PWRDF gathering last week.

Born in Michigan, Finney came to Canada with her husband in 1974. She worked in the field of city planning in Princeton, N.J., and in Toronto, then did international ministry work with the Anglican Church of Canada’s partners in world mission committee. She served on PWRDF committees starting in 1997.

Among the things that have shaped her life, she told the Anglican Journal, are the words her grandmother whispered into her ear at age 10: “Remember this, Adele: Christ in you, the hope of glory,” from Colossians 1:27.

Finney has done work in theatre, writing a play called You Don’t Know the Half of It, and her avocation, she says, has always been people’s drama and education. Much of her inspiration, she says, is from the “Theatre of the Oppressed” theatrical forms developed by Brazilian director Augusto Boal.

“I am drawn to this type of work because of its edges and dynamics,” Finney said. “My personal and corporate ministry, where I come home to myself, is in those spaces—I understand it as ‘edge habitat’—where people are needing space and time to tell their story, often for the first time, and are on the road to transformation.”

Finney’s plans immediately post-retirement include rest and “a retreat to figure out what’s next.” She intends to move to British Columbia to be closer to her two daughters and their families, she says.

She’s also not ruling out writing another play.


Anglican Journal News, November 20, 2015

APCI’s new identity a matter of reconciliation

Posted on: November 21st, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Bishop Barbara Andrews leads the recession following a eucharist service at Valemount Anglican United Church during the spring 2015 assembly of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior.
Photo: André Forget

The Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI) has been officially recognized as a territory with the status of a diocese within the Anglican Church of Canada, but its bishop, Barbara Andrews, said this was more about legally acknowledging APCI’s position than it was about changing how it operates day to day.

“We have a unique governance model,” Andrews said, noting that the territory’s assembly has equal representation from each parish and 15 guaranteed places for Indigenous Anglicans. “So we’re in fact enshrining that unique governance model.”

At its fall meeting, Council of General Synod (CoGS) voted to recognize APCI as having the same status as a diocese, giving it the right to elect its own bishop. Andrews said she is “pleased with the affirmation we have received from CoGS to become a territory,” and noted that doing so allows it to “continue our journey to healing and reconciliation” with Indigenous Anglicans in the Central Interior.

APCI came into being after the diocese of Cariboo ceased to operate following bankruptcy that arose from lawsuits related to Indian residential schools. Cariboo was responsible for running St. George’s Residential School in Lytton, B.C.

Andrews says the decision to use the term “territory” rather than “diocese” is about more than just semantics.

“I think it’s important to come up with a name that reflects the new identity, the new way we’re walking together,” she said. “We have to repent, which means we have to turn around and not continue to do the same things, so this is our attempt to change and be a new entity honouring the difficulties of the past which led us into this.”

Andrews said the territory hasn’t formally settled on a new name, but hopes this will be done in time for General Synod 2016.


Anglican Journal News, November 20, 2015

Canadian churches mark 40 years of recognizing one baptism

Posted on: November 19th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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In 1975, five major Christian churches in Canada reached an agreement recognizing the validity of each other’s baptisms. Forty years later, the mutual recognition of baptism by the Presbyterian, Lutheran, United, Roman Catholic and Anglican (PLURA) churches stands as a historic milestone in the ongoing ecumenical movement.

A news release from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) on September 11, 1975 noted that the agreement followed an ecumenical study of baptism by the Joint Working Group of the Canadian Council of Churches and the CCCB. Responding to the report, each church agreed that “baptism would be recognized when conferred according to the norms of the churches, with flowing water, by pouring, sprinkling or immersion, accompanied by the Trinitarian formula [i.e. in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit].”

Archdeacon Bruce Myers, ecumenical and interfaith coordinator for the Anglican Church of Canada, underscored the role of mutual recognition of baptism in bringing members of different churches closer together.

“When each of us is baptized, it’s always into a particular church, a local community of faith that exists within a denomination,” Myers said. “But also you’re being baptized into the one holy catholic and apostolic church that is universal.”

“What this agreement helped do was give official sanction to that within the Canadian context and allow, when appropriate, for the interchangeability of church members, so that if for whatever reason you happened to move from one denomination to another, you wouldn’t have your original baptism questioned … You would be received as somebody already baptized into the body of Christ, who’s now going to live out their Christian journey within this different denomination.”

The origins of the mutual recognition of baptism agreement and the modern ecumenical movement began with the Second Vatican Council, informally known as Vatican II, prior to which the Roman Catholic Church had a more reserved stance towards baptism. Catherine E. Clifford, professor of systematic theology at St. Paul University in Ottawa, noted that before Vatican II, other Christians who wished to be received into the Catholic Church were most often conditionally re-baptized.

While intra-Protestant ecumenical efforts had existed prior to Vatican II, the changed stance of the world’s largest Christian denomination enabled the Catholic Church to become part of the ecumenical conversation. Beginning with shared work on poverty and social justice, the PLURA churches eventually moved towards mutual recognition of baptism.

Baptismal font“One of the foundations of Catholic ecumenical commitment that’s stated very clearly at Vatican II and in the Decree on Ecumenism is that we recognize that we’re already bound together sacramentally with other Christians through baptism,” Clifford said.

“That also creates a context of existing ecclesial communion,” she added. “It might not be full communion, but it’s real, genuine sacramental communion and communion in the same confessional faith.”

Mutual recognition of baptism paved the way for later agreements such as the Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry text published by the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches in 1982, which followed several years of multilateral theological dialogue in which the churches attempted to come to an agreement on the three titular aspects of the church’s life.

The Anglican and Lutheran experience in Canada is representative of ecumenical progress made in the past four decades. Since 2001, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have been in full communion, which Myers described as the “ultimate expression” of churches recognizing each other as churches in the fullest sense, including the full recognition of their baptisms.

“It’s a part of the ecumenical instinct to move toward unity,” said the Rev. Andre Lavergne, assistant to the ELCIC national bishop, ecumenical and interfaith.

“Visible unity of the church is the goal,” he added. “Whether it’s about baptism or it’s about poverty or it’s about full communion, they’re all examples, and full communion is simply churches working together further down the road.”

Despite the mutual recognition of baptism, some unresolved issues remain. When they reached the agreement in 1975, the PLURA churches stated their intention to create a common baptismal certificate in addition to those already in use.

That pledge has yet to be acted upon—an oversight Lavergne noted in good humour.

“I think it’s absolutely hilarious that the churches could agree on something as theologically important as baptism, and they couldn’t agree on the piece of paper that said it was done the right way,” he said with a chuckle.

Another issue revolves around how the adult baptism (also called believer’s baptism) practiced by churches such as those in the Anabaptist tradition fits into the 1975 agreement, which only concerns infant baptism. Ongoing conversations with Baptists and Mennonites may yet lead to further developments down the road.

For Myers, the current need is to deepen ecumenical relationships at all levels of the church.

“Even 100 years ago, Catholics and Anglicans and Presbyterians fully recognizing the validity of each other’s baptisms and the implications of that would have been unthinkable,” Myers said. “So the fact that an agreement 40 years ago like that was possible was in itself astounding.”

He added, “I think the task for my generation of ecumenists is helping our churches receive and assimilate and fully, or more fully, live into the agreements we have with … our ecumenical partners, and give them living expression … not just at the national level or the diocesan level, but in the congregations.

“That’s where the real life and mission of the church is lived out on a daily basis, and that’s really where the bones of these agreements need to take on flesh and be incarnated.”


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, November 19, 2015

Anglicans rally around Peterborough Muslims

Posted on: November 18th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Shazim Khan, the imam of the Masjid Al-Salaam mosque, says the arson was an “isolated incident,” adding, “this will not change our perception of this community, which is peaceful, loving and welcoming.”  Photo: Screen capture/CBC News

Anglican churches have joined the broader Peterborough, Ont., community in an outpouring of support and generosity for the members of the city’s only mosque, the Masjid Al-Salaam, which was torched by arson in a probable hate crime late in the evening of November 14.The clericus of the regional deanery of Peterborough donated an initial $250 and called on all deanery parishes to match this amount, which should bring in several thousand dollars, according to Dean Gloria Master. “We received a message from Bishop Linda Nicholls saying, ‘Do what you can in reaching out.’ Almost all of our congregations have offered matching funds.”

The response has been overwhelming—“almost like a runaway train,” she added.

All Saints’ and St. Luke’s Anglican parishes offered to provide the mosque’s members with worship, meeting and educational facilities. “A couple of other Anglican churches also offered space, but All Saints’ is more centrally located,” said Master.

“It is possible that we may use the All Saints’ space offer once we know our space needs,” said Dr. Kenzu Abdella, president of the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association (KMRA) and chair of Trent University’s department of mathematics.

According to the Peterborough Examiner, Abdella is also meeting with the president of Beth Israel Jewish congregation to discuss sharing its synagogue until the mosque repairs are completed. The mosque purchased the former Christian church in 2001.

“The community has responded very admirably to declare its opposition to this act,” said Nicholls, area bishop for Trent-Durham and suffragan bishop of Toronto. She drove to Peterborough and personally delivered a letter of support and condolence to the mosque.

Apart from any deanery-matched funds forwarded through congregations, St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church is serving as a receiving centre for donations from individuals wishing to help restore the heavily smoke-damaged mosque at an estimated cost of $80,000–$100,000. “Some of the envelopes are sealed, but the open donations amount to about $2,000 so far,” said Archdeacon Bradley Smith, the new rector at St. John’s.

According to the Peterborough Examiner, as of the evening of November 16, the restoration fund, which was rapidly amplified by online crowd funding via the FundRazr site, was halted at the KMRA’s request, as it had already topped the target amount with donations of $110, 548 raised in 30 hours. The KMRA said it will donate any excess money after repairs to charity.

“The reaction from the community has been outstanding,” said the Rev. Glenn Empey, an Anglican priest and director of spiritual affairs at Trent University, which has a very active Islamic students’ organization. “We are mobilizing all possible resources to help our Muslim students deal with this.”

On Twitter, the Peterborough mosque tweeted this comment: “There are no words to describe how amazing[ly] our community has represented itself as a giving, loving, peaceful and supportive community.”


Anglican Journal News, November 18, 2015

B.C. retreat centre issued $14k fine for asbestos

Posted on: November 18th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

The fine stems from an incident last February, when a contractor was brought in to work in the basement of one of Sorrento Centre’s older buildings. Photo: Robert Paul Van Beets/Shutterstock

The Sorrento Centre, an Anglican-operated retreat and conference centre in south-central British Columbia, has been issued a fine of $14,384 by the provincial government for allegedly allowing workers to work in the presence of exposed asbestos.

The centre was levied the fine because it “allowed workers to access and perform work in an area where there was damaged and exposed asbestos without using adequate personal protective equipment or safe work procedures,” states a report released this fall by WorkSafeBC, a provincial body charged with promoting workplace health and safety.

The Sorrento Centre says it has paid the fine, and is also appealing it.

WorkSafeBC levied the fine on May 29 after an investigation into the workplace, the basement of an administrative building at the facility.

The centre, the report states, “should first have ensured that all friable asbestos-containing materials were removed or enclosed so as to prevent the release of asbestos fibres. These designated high-risk violations may have exposed workers to asbestos, a known carcinogen.”

Carcinogens are cancer-causing substances. Asbestos was used extensively as a building material in the late 19th century and early 20th century, but in more recent decades, as concerns about its effects on human health began to mount, its use in construction has been gradually phased out.

According to a statement prepared by the centre, the fine stems from an incident on February 24, when a heating contractor was brought in to work in the basement of one of the facility’s older buildings.

“We were informed by a contractor that there could be asbestos in the area,” the centre’s statement reads. “Sorrento Centre immediately closed off the area of concern and restricted access, informing all staff that the area was not to be accessed until it was deemed safe by a professional assessor.”

According to the centre, it then immediately hired a hazardous materials management service. At the same time, after this process had begun, an officer from WorkSafe BC arrived to investigate, the centre says.

Testing, the centre says, then confirmed the presence of asbestos. Tests of the area of main concern, according to its statement, found that the floor and shelf dust contained asbestos in the range of only one to five per cent, and that there was no asbestos at all in the air. For the safety of staff and guests, air on the main level of the building was also tested; these tests also came back negative, the centre says.

“Removal and/or proper containment of the asbestos alongside a proper clean-up was performed by an authorized company,” the statement reads. The centre continued to restrict access to the area until it met the WorkSafeBC requirements and was declared a safe space. “A complete hazardous material testing is being performed on all buildings, older than 1990, on the Sorrento Centre site to ensure a safe environment for all employees, guests and visitors,” the Sorrento statement continues.

The centre is encouraging anyone with concerns about this incident to contact it for more information.


Anglican Journal News, November 18, 2015

Anglicans, Lutherans put spotlight on refugees

Posted on: November 16th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

 “While Syrian refugees have risen in the international view, there are refugees worldwide,” PWRDF director Adele Finney and Canadian Lutheran World Relief director Robert Granke said in a report to CoGS. Photo: André Forget

Mississauga, Ont.,
The directors of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) and of Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) have offered hopeful words about the work their relief and development organizations are doing to help refugees, and a dire prognosis for the refugee crisis as a whole.“The refugee situation is not going to get better,” PWRDF director Adele Finney told members of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s National Church Council on Friday evening, November 13. “This is where we are now.”

Since the crisis tragically captured mainstream attention this fall, after the death of Alan Kurdi,  interest in sponsorships has exploded. Given that both the CLWR and 15 Anglican dioceses across Canada hold sponsorship agreements and are thus eligible to help resettle refugees, resettlement has been a major emphasis in the churches’ responses.

But while they were both pleased to see the number of Anglicans and Lutherans willing to step up and welcome refugees into their communities, Finney and CLWR Robert Granke also stressed the importance of their organizations’ work in conflict zones around the world.

“What we want to say is, ‘remember refugees worldwide,’” said Finney. “While Syrian refugees have risen in the international view, there are refugees worldwide.”

Granke noted that CLWR is involved in Central East Africa, helping South Sudanese nationals fleeing to Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya to escape violence in their own country. It is also working in Jordan, where many Syrians have fled, and in Iraq, which has a high number of internally-displaced peoples.

“The reality is that a refugee today, when they migrate somewhere, they live in their new home or their new location, on average, 17 years,” said Granke. “It used to be nine years, but in the last couple of years that has almost doubled in terms of the average.”

This has meant a shift in emphasis for CLWR, moving towards what Granke calls “resilience programming,” which involves helping refugees build a somewhat stable life where they resettle. Canada and Jordan, for example, have agreed to work with CLWR to improve schools attended by refugee children in northern Jordan.

Finney reported that PWRDF has also been involved in aiding refugees in need of long-term care, for example, in the case of refugees fleeing violence in Sri Lanka, some of whom have been in refugee camps for 30 years. PWRDF also supports the Well Child Clinic in Cairo, which is on the front lines of dealing with the massive influx of Sudanese, South Sudanese and Syrian refugees to Egypt.

Despite the gravity of the situation, the news is not all bad, Finney said, noting that one of the most important things that organizations like PWRDF and CLWR have been doing, is pool their resources and political influence.

“We’ve taken the collaboration thing seriously,” she said.  Finney and Granke work together with a group of 12-15 executive directors of denominationally-based relief and development organizations to increase aid to areas where there are large numbers of internally-displaced people and refugees.

With the new Liberal government—which has pledged to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country by year’s end—the possibilities have expanded. According to Granke, the government plans on bringing in as many as 900 refugees a day in order to meet this goal, and sponsorship agreement holders will play an important role in settling these refugees.

“We’re ready to assist. There are 91 sponsorship agreement holders across Canada, and I think those 91 can take a large number of that 25,000,” he said. “I think we can do this—I have no doubt that that number is achievable.”


Anglican Journal News, November 14, 2015

Prayers and solidarity after Paris attacks

Posted on: November 16th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments


The Bataclan Theatre, scene of one of the November 13 coordinated attacks in Paris, pictured here in 2008. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Celine

Church leaders around the world have offered prayers and messages of solidarity after the series of terrorist attacks in Paris last night which left at least 127 people dead and many more fighting for their lives.

“I am deeply shocked by the terrible tragedy which has befallen the city of Paris,” the head of the Church of England’s Diocese of Europe, the Rt Revd Dr Robert Innes, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, said. “I offer my fervent prayers for the families who have so brutally and suddenly lost loved ones, and for all who are struggling with serious injury.

“As a diocese we want to express our solidarity with the people of France at this dark time. Acts of terror against innocent people are totally abhorrent. We pray for deliverance from evil and that all the perpetrators and their accomplices are swiftly brought to justice.”

In a message to the two C of E churches in Central Paris – St George’s in Rue Auguste-Vacquerie and St Michael’s in Rue D’Aguesseau – the Suffragan Bishop of Europe, the Rt Revd David Hamid, said: “Once again violence and terrorism have struck France and the world is in shock. The numbers of dead and injured in the attacks across Paris must make this one of the deadliest of such crimes.

“Across the diocese this weekend we will be praying for the people of Paris at this time of national mourning, distress and fear. We pray for all who have died that our Loving God will welcome them into his arms. We pray that God will comfort all who grieve, as well as the injured and the fearful.

“And we pray that terrorism may be overcome and violent hearts turned to paths of peace.

“In the face of hatred we pray that we may show forth love, and in this time of despair we remember our calling to be lights in a darkened world. May the peace of the Lord be with you.”

The American Cathedral in Paris, part of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, was closed on Saturday and as a result had to cancel its Junior Guild Christmas Fair; but officials said that Sunday’s services would take place as usual, with a smaller Christmas Fair taking pace after its 11am service.

“Please come. We need to be together and to pray together, the Very Revd Lucinda Laird, Dean of the Cathedral, said. “Please keep our Cathedral community and the city of Paris in your prayers – especially the victims and their families. Most of all, pray for peace.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, described hearing of the “desperate news of deep tragedy.” In a Tweet as the situation was being played out in the French capital, he spoke of the many broken hearts, and said: “We weep with those affected [and] pray for deliverance and justice.”

The Church of England has published a collection of prayers for peace on its website: “Compassionate God and Father of all, we are horrified at violence in so many parts of the world. It seems that none are safe, and some are terrified. Hold back the hands that kill and maim; turn around the hearts that hate. Grant instead your strong Spirit of Peace – peace that passes our understanding but changes lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Guy Liagre, general secretary of the Conference of European Churches, said that the organisation “grieves the loss of life and mourns with all those affected by this enormous tragedy. We pray for the victims, their families and friends, and for the men and women who risked their own lives last night in service to others.”

He continued: “These tragic events impels CEC to strengthen our peacebuilding and reconciliation work. We must strive to follow the words of the Psalms – depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”

“We must continue, on the basis of our Christian faith, to uphold our values. We work towards a humane, socially conscious Europe, in which human rights and the basic values of peace, justice, freedom, tolerance, participation and solidarity prevail,” he said, citing the 2001 Charta Oecumenica.

In Canada, the Council of the General Synod paused its Friday evening meeting as news of the attacks filtered through. Archbishop Fred Hiltz led prayers for those affected by the tragedy.

In Australia, prayers for Paris were said every half hour at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne. “On behalf of Australia’s Anglicans, I express our deepest sympathy for and solidarity with the people of Paris in their fear, pain and mourning,” the Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Revd Philip Freier, said. “I greatly fear that in the 21st century events like this are going to become much more common, but they will never lose their capacity to shock.

“We pray for comfort for the victims, those who love them and tend them, and for those who are appalled and devastated by these vicious attacks. We pray also that calm and wise leadership will prevail, especially in the face of a possible backlash against the innocent. . .

“In Australia we have never faced attacks like this, but the danger of coordinated or lone wolf attacks is increasing, as I warned in September. We have to be prepared for this reality. I commend the swift response of the authorities in Paris, which surely saved many lives, and also the endeavours of the authorities in Australia to keep us safe.”

A French flag is flying at half-mast at St Andrews Cathedral in Sydney, where the Prime Minister of New South Wales, Mike Baird, will attend a special prayer service for Paris on Sunday. “It is difficult to comprehend the barbarity of such attacks but we mourn with those who mourn and weep with those who weep”, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, said.

“We pray that God in his unfailing love will comfort the people of Paris, especially those who have been injured and the families and friends who have lost loved ones,” he said.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America, the Most Revd Michael Curry, urged “all Episcopalians and people of good will and faith to pray for those who have died, those who are in harm’s way, those who seek to help in any way; and to pray for us as a human family.” In a video message, he asked people watching to join him in praying the Lord’s prayer.

The Anglican church in Lille, northern France has opened its doors today “for people to come and pray and seek the Lord’s comfort after a night of events which are horrific to try and comprehend.”

Updates will be posted by the Diocese of Europe and the American Cathedral in Paris.


Anglican Journal News, November 14, 2015

St George’s College, Jerusalem, welcomes new Dean

Posted on: November 12th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

The outgoing Dean of St George’s College, Jerusalem, the Very Revd Dr Graham Smith (left) with the new Dean, the Revd Dr Gregory Jenks (right), and the Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Most Revd Suheil Dawani
Photo Credit: Diocese of Jerusalem

[ACNS] The new Dean of St George’s College in Jerusalem, the Revd Dr Gregory Jenks, has begun his new ministry by meeting the Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Most Revd Suheil Dawani, and his predecessor as Dean, the Very Revd Dr Graham Smith. In addition to his role with the college, Dr Jenks will become a residentiary canon at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem

St George’s College, Jerusalem is an Anglican community of education, hospitality, pilgrimage, and reconciliation; and is renowned for its short-term study and pilgrimage courses which bring Christians from around the world into contact with the “Living Stones” of Israel and Palestine.

“St George’s College was originally founded in 1920 as a theological school for Palestinian seminarians. However, the political complexities and challenges in the Middle East made that original vision impossible,” the Rt Revd Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston in the Church of England’s Diocese of Southwark, and chair of the British Regional Committee of St George’s College, said. “Therefore, in the 1960s, a new, broader vision was developed for educating clergy and laity from the worldwide Anglican Communion and throughout the ecumenical Church. Over the years, St George’s College courses have renewed faith and changed lives.

“The unique context of St George’s College means it can be a place where, for example, clergy and laity from link dioceses across the Anglican Communion can meet and share in a deep experience of pilgrimage.

“Those in training for, or at an early stage in, ordained ministry can be transformed by profound encounters while on courses. Jerusalem as a meeting place not only for Christians from around the world but also for Jews and Muslims, offers huge possibilities for interfaith engagement. All of the college courses provide experiences with the local Churches and the College hopes to be a growing resource for the clergy of the Diocese of Jerusalem.

“Our complex and conflicted 21st-Century world is in real need of centres of meeting, reconciliation, learning, and prayer. St George’s College is one such place with unique potential. As you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, please remember to attend, support, and make known to other’s the extraordinary ministry provided by St George’s College [which is] a recognized leader in Christian adult education in the Holy Land.”

Forthcoming courses at St George’s College cover a range of topics from Abraham and his children, looking at the Abrahamic narratives of the Hebrew Bible and the traditions of Abraham as developed in the Talmud; Living Stones: Peace, Reconciliation and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, providing an in depth overview of the diocese set within the larger context of indigenous Christianity in the Holy Land; Palestine of Jesus, a pilgrimage course focusing upon the key events in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the sacred landscapes in which they take place.

Other courses include Risen with Christ, an opportunity to experience Holy Week and Easter observances of the Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic and Ethiopian communities in Jerusalem; Sharing Perspectives: Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land, including visits to holy sites of the three Abrahamic faiths to engage in inter-faith theological discussion; Ways in the Wilderness, 14 days in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan exploring scriptural, monastic, and personal themes of wilderness; and Women of the Bible, an opportunity to experience the sacred – and not-so-sacred – stories of biblical women through the medium of professional biblical story.

“Diocesan staff, parishes, institutions and parishioners would like to thank Dean Graham for his leadership of St George’s College for the past four years,” Archbishop Dawani said. “We would like to welcome Dean Greg into his new role as Dean, wishing him infinite blessings.”

Dr Jenks is an Australian-born Anglican priest, who previously served as Academic Dean of St Francis Theological College in Brisbane, and senior lecturer in the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales.

He is no stranger to Israel as he was a member of the consortium for the Bethsaida excavations project in Israel and regularly took students from the Charles Sturt University to participate in the dig.

Unomaha _bethsaida _coin _460

A Roman gold coin is discovered by the Bethsaida excavations project. Photo: University of Nebraska at Omaha

The Bethsaida excavations have, in recent years, focused extensively an Iron Age gate complex, including the plaza inside the gate, and have also continued to expose the Hellenistic-Roman town of Jesus’ time.

In 2005 they found an undisturbed wine cellar, and in 2006, two bronze bowls used in Roman cultic rituals. In 2011, the project discovered a solid gold Roman coin – the only coin of its type discovered in Israel to this day.

Last summer they made some spectacular finds, including a coin known as Judea Capta – this was minted by the emperor Domitian (AD 81-96) in commemoration of the conquest of Judea and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.


Anglican Communion News Service, ACNS Today’s Top Stories, November 06, 2015

New Church Plant for Downtown Montreal, inspired by Holy Trinity Brompton & Alpha

Posted on: November 12th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

“It is with great joy that the Anglican Diocese of Montreal hopes to ‘plant’ a new church congregation into the historic Montreal-centre parish building of St James the Apostle in 2016. Our aim is to reach young, urban professional and multicultural individuals and families through a modern Anglican form of worship and evangelism. This pilot project is part of our exploration into what 21st Century church will look like in Montreal”, says Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson, Anglican Diocese of Montreal.

In his Bishop’s Charge of 2014 entitled Called to Grow former Bishop of Montreal Barry Clarke underlined the need to prayerfully hold together the tensions of joining in the Mission of God, managing over $300 million of challenging real estate and doing so within a radically changing environment of leadership and discipleship. In its 2010-2015 Mission Action Plan, the Diocese of Montreal repeated a need to work towards the planting of vital churches.

Following these strategic objectives, Diocesan Missioner Mark Dunwoody was instructed to research and explore a relationship with the Diocese of London, UK where the adult worshipping population has risen by over 70% in recent years by and where there are plans to establish 100 new worshipping communities by the year 2020.  This research led to connections with Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) and one of their Canadian-based church planters, The Rev’d Graham Singh. Before his retirement in the Summer of 2015, Bishop Barry Clarke commissioned a feasibility study for an HTB-style plant somewhere in the Diocese. These plans were prepared to be handed over to the new Bishop for further consideration and potential implementation.

In a parallel process, new vision for the Diocese has come through the election of Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson who has made this a key project and objective in the first season of her episcopacy.   Bishop Mary has underlined the potential for peacemaking, new mission and new forms of leadership that this endeavour could bring – she has also taken a lead in bringing together the various stakeholders involved in making this project a well-considered and critically-reviewed Kingdom endeavour within the Diocese.

In Bishop Mary’s prophetic call for unity in diversity and the exploration of new models, a sense of God’s encouragement has continued. We have seen a level of agreement within the Diocese and with our various partners, making it seem as though God is actively engaged in this process:

“A culture of creativity has been the key to how we have reached this place of doing something new in our Diocese. Everyone involved has approached this idea with an ‘open heart’, an ‘open mind’ and an ‘open will’ as we have crossed the valley of transformation. By harvesting thought streams from our wider diocesan family, and looking to other parts of the Anglican communion for ideas, we have helped weave a new church concept that will compliment our existing Downtown churches. We give thanks to all of the many leaders involved – they have never let the process destroy the vision” says Mark Dunwoody Diocesan Missioner, Anglican Diocese of Montreal.

The Greater Montreal area represents a multicultural, global city with a population of some 2 million people. Economic, linguistic, cultural and political shifts have contributed to both the successes and the great challenges of this city. Spiritually, the radical decline of traditional forms of church has been followed by intense debates about the role of organized faith in public life. On the one hand, Quebec and Montreal culture can be said to be actively working against the established forms of the church. On the other hand, Montreal’s global and creative ‘vibe’ may be said to be ripe for a spiritual revival.

“I come from a liberal, Anglo-Catholic tradition but over the space of 20 years have come to see how effective and embracing the Alpha and HTB movements have been. I love our traditions, but I also believe that this movement is exactly what we need to compliment traditional ministry in the Downtown of this global city. I welcome this initiative with open arms,” says the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, The Very Rev’d Paul Kennington

“For over 150 years, faithful Christians have been worshipping at St. James the Apostle Anglican Church. Following several years of reflection about the future, it has been decided to make way for something new. We recognize there is deep sorrow felt by many as we close this chapter in the life of the church community. But, we do so in the knowledge of God’s great plans and the prayerful work surrounding this new initiative in partnership with the leadership in the Diocese. Although some members may choose to join other parishes, it is our hope that many will be ‘encouraging godparents’ and take part in this new mission venture,” says the Rector of St. James the Apostle Church, Archdeacon Linda Borden Taylor.

The Rev’d Graham Singh will lead this initiative. Graham grew up near Toronto, is bilingual in French and English and is married to Céline from Paris, France. They have three young children. Graham grew up in a choral Anglican tradition (at St John’s, Elora) but later experienced an awakening of his faith at Holy Trinity Brompton through the Alpha Course. Following subsequent training and ordination, Graham has planted three thriving churches in the HTB-style. From 2000-2013, Graham was based in the UK and from 2013 until now has been based in the Toronto area, working on interdenominational partnerships through Church Planting Canada (for whom he serves as Executive Director) alongside local pastoral ministry. Graham holds a BA (Hons.) in Political Science from Huron College at the University of Western Ontario, an MSc in Diplomatic History from the London School of Economics and a BMin in Christian Ministry from Ridley Hall and St Mellitus College. This new project will become part of Graham’s ongoing Doctor of Ministry studies in Church Planting at Asbury Theological Seminary.

“I count it as a very great privilege to come to Montreal and serve our Lord Jesus Christ under Bishop Mary and alongside other Diocesan colleagues in this endeavour. Of course the HTB model has great hope for us, but we are under no illusions: this model will need adapting for our bilingual, Montreal context. I am particularly encouraged by clergy colleagues from different perspectives than my own, who have offered space for me to be who I am as I prepare to lead this new initiative. I believe we are seeing opportunities for an Anglican Church of Canada where we can agree to try different ideas, within the unity of the body of Christ,” says The Rev’d Graham Singh.

“We are delighted to respond to the Bishop of Montreal’s request for encouragement and learning together. Graham and Celine are some of our most trusted church planters and we pray that they will offer anything they can as this new team plays its part in sharing the great news about Jesus and the transformation of society,” says The Bishop of Islington, The Rt Rev’d Ric Thorpe who also acts as liaison between this church planting project and Holy Trinity Brompton.

“[This proposal] has my entire approbation and blessing. I rejoice at this latest sign of the work of the Holy Spirit in renewing our communion.  Oceanis divisi eucharistia conjuncti.” says The Bishop of London, The Rt Rev’d & Rt Hon Richard Chartres in his letter of 29th October 2015 to the Bishop of Montreal.

All aspects of this church plant will be overseen directly by Diocesan leadership and under the Anglican Bishop of Montreal, in conversation with supporting partners such as the Diocese of London UK and Holy Trinity Brompton. All various stakeholders will be brought together at regular intervals, as is appropriate to each stage of church planting, with a view to reflecting on the progress and learnings. The plant team will be lead by The Rev’d Graham Singh who will become a normal stipendiary minister within the Diocese of Montreal and under its Canon Law.  Team building for this new initiative begins from January 2016 and all interested persons are invited to join a newsletter from or contact The Rev’d Graham Singh on [email protected].

[email protected]________________________________________________________________

Anglican Diocese of Montreal Press Release, November 06, 2015


Glasgow sees ‘synergy’ between priorities of church and Trudeau

Posted on: November 9th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sworn in as Canada’s prime minister Nov. 4, has promised a “renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples that respects rights and honours treaties.” He is seen here embracing Evelyn Commanda Dewache, an Algonquin elder and former residential school student during the closing ceremony of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa June 3. Photo: Art Babych

On the same day that Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister on November 4, he received a letter from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and National Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) congratulating him for his victory and welcoming his “approach to governance.”The letter commended Trudeau’s “commitment to work closely with all levels of government on issues such as homelessness, lifting children and seniors out of poverty, improving our welcome of refugees, and refocusing development assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable,” as well as his promise to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action.

“We share the goal to build and strengthen relationships across Canada—with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians—grounded in right relationships, compassion and justice,” the letter stated.

While Hiltz and Johnson, like many other church leaders, remained non-partisan throughout the long campaign—focusing instead on the issues they would like to see dealt with, such as poverty, reconciliation and environmental stewardship—the Anglican church’s special advisor for government relations, the Rev. Laurette Glasgow, noted that there is “a greater synergy between the priorities of our church and those of the incoming government” than there has been in recent years.

Glasgow pointed out that the Trudeau government has promised to be more open, which may allow for church groups to exert more influence in Ottawa on the issues in which they are already engaged.

“On refugees, the church has been a major player,” she said, in reference to Trudeau’s promise to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by year’s end, “so we are really sharpening our own tools and trying to improve our own processes to work hand-in-glove with the government on that particular file.” Hiltz has called the development “heartening news.”

Glasgow stressed that while Anglicans may not agree with everything the government says or does, the church will have a greater chance of making a difference if it puts pressure on the government to fulfill the promises it has made, rather than criticizing it for not making other promises.


Anglican Journal News, November 05, 2015